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Old 11-11-2009, 19:05   #16
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I use one of these.....Camco Refractometer....for both kinds of antifreeze.

Sure beats the "balls"
CAMCO REFRACTOMETER - Camco Manufacturing Antifreeze
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Old 11-11-2009, 19:49   #17
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Originally Posted by Chief Engineer View Post
I use one of these.....Camco Refractometer....for both kinds of antifreeze.

Sure beats the "balls"
CAMCO REFRACTOMETER - Camco Manufacturing Antifreeze
That's a nice piece of equipment. I use both test strips and the "balls". Seeing as I am looking for -40 or better up here, all balls floating is rather simple, but I agree they are not the easiest to use. My test strips go to -60 and so long as you are not color blind they are very reliable..

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Old 11-11-2009, 20:17   #18
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I try to use as little of the pink stuff as possible not to save a few bucks but so I don't have to pump and flush the tanks for hours in the spring to get the damn stuff out of the FW system.
I don't put it in my tanks. I empty them out, then remove the hose at the tank end & stick it right in the antifreeze jug. turn on the faucet- when antifreeze runs out the tap, I'm done. Well, almost. The rest goes down the head, just in case. A broken black water line would sure smell in the Spring!
Anyway, it takes about half a gallon to flush the lines (galley & head sink), then the rest goes down the head.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:56   #19
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Testing

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You spent, I would guess, a large sum of money on a charter (Lagoon 42 IIRC), converted to electric propulsion and other expensive stuff but are focused over a $5.00 +/- bottle of antifreeze that you could have bought at a Wal*Mart for $3.49 (what I paid this season).
Maine Sail:

Ahyup! I certainly don't feel bad about trying to save money and also not using more antifreeze than I need to winterize my boats water system. I'm a watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves kind of guy. I thought fellas from Maine could understand that. How do you think I was able to charter that Lagoon. Better yet I was able to semi-retire at 45 and spend a lot more time on board my own sailboat by watching those pennies over the years. I certainly did not get to this point by paying diesel mechanics $75+ an hour to scratch their heads working on my diesel engine. Well, Ok I did actually did pay "diesel mechanics" the money to scratch their heads over my diesel. But, only after I spent a couple of months scratching my own head working on it too. But, that was before I went electric.

Back to winterizing. Thanks for the tip about buying the antifreeze at Walmart. It's cheaper and even closer than West Marine for me. Means less gas used too! I understand you and Chiefs point. There is a point of being "penny wise and pound foolish" and I certainly could spring for another gallon or two of antifreeze. But, if it's not really needed it's literally pouring money down the drain. Your point about testing the antifreeze protection is certainly a good idea and has aroused my curosity. Since I just pulled the boat and have yet to winterize I plan on testing the antifreeze before and after I winterize this year to see just how much protection I am really getting using this winterizing procedure. I'll forgo springing for Chief's $120 spectrometer. But, if you could let me know the brand, type and a place to buy the antifreeze test strips that you use. I'll try them and report back on what I find.

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Old 13-11-2009, 11:08   #20
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News Flash! Mainesail is caught with 2nd tier technology!

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
That's a nice piece of equipment. I use both test strips and the "balls". Seeing as I am looking for -40 or better up here, all balls floating is rather simple, but I agree they are not the easiest to use. My test strips go to -60 and so long as you are not color blind they are very reliable..

Just kidding. Last weekend I was doing and engine swap and had to re-do a crimp. I had miss placed my ratchet crimpers and used the cheap ones I could find. I actually had a helper stomp on the handles. A few hours latter I was working near the wire and it just pulled out! I found my ratchet crimpers and did a proper job. I threw the cheap ones away.

I work for one of the larger antifreeze manufacturers and we have no tapes or "ball" guages on site. They are easily knocked out of calibration by just a few drops of oil, and you have no way of knowing. Refractometers are the lowest level of technology we use, and we are very pleased with them for spot monitoring. You can test the calibration before every test with a few drops of water.

Typically they are ~ $50 and will test EG, PG, and battery acid gravity. Any good mechanic considers one essencial. Very fast.

Typical (Glycol Refractometer / Antifreeze Refractometer / Coolant Refractometer)

You can also bet them for brewing and aquarium use (salt), but that is way off-topic.
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Old 13-11-2009, 11:24   #21
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Burst Point and Freeze Point are not the same

PERCENT VOLUME GLYCOL CONCENTRATION REQUIRED

Freeze ProtectionBurst Protection
Temperature°F Freeze Burst
20 17% 11%
10 26% 18%
0 34% 23%
-10 41% 28%
-20 45% 30%
-30 49% 33%
-40 51% 35%
-50 53% 35%
-60 55% 35%

Dowfrost is PG with additives.

Just to make things more confusing....
* There is no ASTM standard for "burst point." Every company makes up their own testing spec. However, most good companies respect the above values. But not all, judging from MDSD information.
* Burst point changes with freeze/thaw cycles. The water ice floats up, leaving the glycol at the bottom (like making apple jack). We have burst the top of pipes due to this effect, during a long cold stretch.
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Old 15-11-2009, 07:27   #22
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Thinwater:

Thanks for the info. After the discussions here I'm going with the refractometer method that you and Cheif use. I found one availible on EBAY for under $40 including shipping. Seems like the way to go.

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Old 15-11-2009, 14:22   #23
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They pretty cool.

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Thinwater:

Thanks for the info. After the discussions here I'm going with the refractometer method that you and Cheif use. I found one availible on EBAY for under $40 including shipping. Seems like the way to go.

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I even use one on my salt water tank.
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Old 15-11-2009, 19:26   #24
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You mentioned a refractometer for batteries...I remember using one a long time ago.

Is there a conversion factor available i.e. degrees to charge level/electrolyte quality?
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Old 16-11-2009, 05:03   #25
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Antifreeze/battery refractometer

Chief:

The unit I'm buying has scales for regular automotive glycol and propylene glycolcol antifreeze and lead acid battery specific gravity. The battery scale won't help me much on board since I use Gels (house) and AGM's (propulsion) but, will help on the flooded lead acid battery I use on my solar photovolatic system at home. I should have it in the next day or two so I'll see how it works.


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Old 01-12-2009, 08:32   #26
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Chief Engineer:

An update to my posts. I used my new refractometer after I winterized this year and found the freeze readings only 3 degrees F higher than the antifreeze out of the jug. I have posted some pictures taken of the scale of my refractometer in my blog post here:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: WINTERIZING AND TESTING THE ANTIFREEZE ON BOARD
They should be clear enough so you can transcribe the battery readings to what your refractometer reads on the antifreeze scale. Hope this helps. The refractometer sure is the way to go when testing.

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Old 11-12-2009, 21:16   #27
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. That's why I drain the hot water tank before winterizing.

I have a hot water tank with a check valve on the cold water input so draining the tank is difficult. I do put air through the system and purge some of the water from the tank through the hot water outlet located toward the top of the tank. (About a gallon is removed) Next I start pumping the pink stuff in via the cold water inlet and purging through the hot water outlet. It's a Raritan 1700 Series 6 gallon unit. I know that I'm diluting the pink stuff even putting 5 gallons into it, but is there an easy way to drain that thing?
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:33   #28
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... It's a Raritan 1700 Series 6 gallon unit. I know that I'm diluting the pink stuff even putting 5 gallons into it, but is there an easy way to drain that thing?
Refer to your Owner’s Manual
Winterizing (page 3)
http://www.raritaneng.com/pdf_files/...eaterv0502.pdf

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Old 12-12-2009, 05:42   #29
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Lancelot:

I never had to deal with draining a hot water tank myself. But, I'm thinking you might try hooking up a small wet dry vac (I find a 2 gallon Sears vac to be very useful on board) to the output hose of your water heater and have it suck the water out of the tank. You probably should disconnect the input side of the tank when you do this so there is no chance that you collapse/damage the tank with the vacum. Then after draining the tank as much as possible if you place the tanks inlet hose into a jug of anti freeze and use the wetdry vac on the output you should be able to see that you are sucking the anti freeze through the tank. You might find you need a lot less antifreeze using this method. Just don't forget to hook the hoses back up when your done or you will be reminded in the spring by the sound of running water into the bilge. Anyway that's my thoughts on how to do it.

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Old 12-12-2009, 06:06   #30
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I have a hot water tank with a check valve on the cold water input so draining the tank is difficult.

My water tank also has a check valve and no drain valve. To drain it I stick a thick piece of insulated wiring (firm but bends) up the hole, opening the check valve. This method is a bit fiddly but it works. I keep the piece of wiring wrapped around one of the hoses so when I crawl into the locker and worm my way to the back (CS36M) to undo the hoses my piece of wire is there. I got smart in year three after going all the way in and then having to squirm out to get the forgotten piece of wire.
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